After news that he was denied unemployment benefits, Michael Brodkorb plans to expand his wrongful termination lawsuit.
Brodkorb's lawyer, Phil Villaume, says be believes someone in the Senate disclosed private information regarding Brodkorb's efforts to claim unemployment, and that the disclosure is illegal.
MPR News reported that Brodkorb's request for unemployment benefits was denied. Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman confirmed the information in the story.
"Due to the decision by the Minnesota Senate to release Mr. Brodkorb's private unemployment information, Mr. Brodkorb will be adding an additional claim of invasion of privacy against the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Senate and Mr. Ludeman to his planned lawsuit over his unlawful termination from the Minnesota Senate."
Under state and federal law, unemployment applications are private and so is the state's decision to reject a claim. However, an appeal of that decision is public.
Villaume would not confirm that Brodkorb's unemployment claim had been rejected, nor would he detail the arguments he plans to make during the appeal of the state's decision next Thursday.
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"I can't acknowledge that because unemployment matters are private under the law," Villaume said. "Whoever has released this to the press has invaded Mr. Brodkorb's right to privacy and technically has violated the law."
Brodkorb has filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which will issue a so-called right-to-sue letter so Brodkorb can file a wrongful termination lawsuit in federal court.
Villaume expects to file the lawsuit in 30 to 60 days. He does not believe the EEOC is investigating Brodkorb's claim, and will simply issue the right-to-sue letter instead.
Here's the press release: